New York Yankees: Is Aaron Boone to blame?

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Aaron Boone
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are quickly digging themselves into a hole that they won’t get out of unless things change dramatically and quickly. The most troubling thing is that it doesn’t seem to be in of offing.

For all those Aaron Boone fans, I fully realize that Boone has done a mostly great job with the Yankees with back-to-back 100 win game seasons and doing it under the worst of circumstances. But there is one flaw the Yankees have not been able to get to a World Series game and last season even lost the division to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, this season the Yankees are off to their worst start since 1997. They are 5-10 but seem even worst than that stat. Yes, it’s not the end of the world, but with every game the Yankees lose, it will impact the season record and whether they go into the postseason. The Yankees have got to improve, but there doesn’t seem to be the inspiration to do that. The pitching situation presents its own problems, but right now, a lack of hitting is the biggest issue.

During yesterday’s game, I watched the batters carefully; the Yankee batter seemed to be standing at the plate just waiting for the ball to come to them, while Ray’s batters seemed almost ready to jump out of their skin to get a hit. The Yankees seem to lack energy, and that I lay on Aaron Boone’s doorstep. Joe Girardi would not allow this lack of energy while Boone seems to be painting a rosy picture saying that he is sure things will get better. The question is when?

The New York Yankees are last in the American League and 28th in all of baseball. The Yankees have not particularly played well against the Blue Jays, but it appears the Tampa Bay Rays have gotten into the head of the Yankees. They seem to be resigned to lose against them. This season and last, the Yankees have lost 15 of 18 games against the Rays. This season they are off to a bad start winning only one of six games played. Even Gerrit Cole, the Yankee’s $324 million pitcher, couldn’t save the Yankees yesterday.

After far too many losses, manager Boone finally had a team meeting; according to Giancarlo Stanton, in that meeting, the usually rosy Boone seemed angry. The question is, was he inspiring? Apparently not; the Yankees surely did not come into yesterday’s game ready to play; the game was a mess. A game that the Yankees could only muster up 3 hits in the game while committing a multitude of mistakes, some that you wouldn’t see in a high school game. It’s not understandable that a team with a $134 million payroll advantage cant win games against that team. You would have to assume the Rays are more prepared and better managed.

Those mistakes resulted in only one official error but still impacted the game negatively. Gio Urshela overthrew to first base, Aaron Hicks double, and triple bobbled, resulting in an error. Clint Frazier, upon catching a fly out and trying to throw to second airmailed, the ball, halfway between pitcher Cole and first base. These are mistakes that should not be made in major league play.

The New York Yankees entered the game yesterday in last place in the American League, 23rd in the majors in on-base percentage, 24th in runs, 25th in total bases, and 28th in OPS, and they responded with a grand total of two runs on three hits in the 4-2 defeat. In the 3 games set against the Rays, the Yankees only averaged 2.1 runs per game.

How to fix all of this is beyond my pay grade, but the hitters, pitchers, and coaches will have to do their jobs and turn this around quickly, and Aaron Boone has to lead that charge.